Saturday, September 28, 2013

Fall Day

High: that moment today when the applesauce was in the crock pot, the washing machine was going, dinner was on the grill, a fall-scented candle was lit, JJ and Noah were playing outside, and Asher was peacefully sleeping

Low: the epic and I mean EPIC and very public melt down Noah had at the Wildlife Festival in front of so so so many people - a pretty humbling experience

Monday, September 16, 2013

Day 7: One I never heard. :)

Day 7:
You look tiny!” 
I think I’ve covered the big remarks in abundance…they are all I hear from the hardware store clerk to the stranger on the beach. I need to mention for my Mommy-to-be friends that pointing out you think someone looks small or not big enough is also very damaging. Pregnant women have an overload of information about what they should and should not do during pregnancy especially when it comes to eating, exercise, and gaining weight. The last thing they need is your opinion on how they are doing. Also, pregnant women worry a lot thanks to our fear driven society. And the only thing worse than worrying about being too big has got to be worrying that your baby is too small. Please just stop.

Alternative: See Day #3

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Day 6: OF COURSE I'm tired!

Day 6:
“You look tired.” 
"Thank you?" How am I supposed to respond to that? Do you see the toddler running around my feet? Do you see that I am obviously quite pregnant therefore you can deduce I may not be sleeping well? Why in God’s name are you saying this? Believe it or not I try to put in a bit of effort before I step out my front door…you’ve just made it clear it was all in vain. Thank you oh-so-much.

Alternative: “You look tired….how can I help? Or can I make dinner for your family? Or is there laundry that needs folding? Or can I come weed your flower garden? Or can I watch the 1 ½ year old for an hour so you can put your feet up?” If you are going to point out that she looks tired be there with a solution or an offer to help. It changes the remark from insult to blessing. If you don’t want to help her become less tired than keep your opinions about how exhausted she is to yourself. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Day 5: In which, I go off about a personal pet peeve.

Day 5:
“Trying for a (fill in the blank with the gender baby the couple hasn’t had yet)?” I have talked to other Moms about this…it really is not an ok thing to say. 

Number one it implies that our only purpose for having children is to make sure we each have a mini-me. This may be true for some couples but not for most and it is insulting to those of us who are having children to have children and not fulfill some gender quota society thinks is important. It seriously implies that if we had one of each already we wouldn’t be pregnant a third (or more) time. Just not cool.

Number two it is insulting to the children already in existence. I heard one mom talk about how right in front of her two existing daughters (who were certainly old enough to understand) people would ask “hoping for that boy?” or “finally getting that boy?” To which she would respond…”We love girls! We’ll be happy no matter what.” Now, I know some of you are reading this and thinking “harmless” but I submit that it is not harmless. What are you (most of the time stranger) saying to those little girls (or little boys)? That Mommy and Daddy aren’t content with your gender…they really want something different…you all being girls or boys is a disappointment to Mommy and Daddy? Oh heck no, we both come from a family of “onlys” and I just KNOW if I have the happy blessing of getting pregnant a third time ALL I am going to hear about is the possibility of it being a girl or that we are “trying for a girl”. 

Number three (oh you got me going now) YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THIS COUPLE HAS BEEN THROUGH. You may not know about miscarriages or other heartbreaking complications from earlier pregnancies. I read a post once by the mother of 4 boys and she had a daughter that lived only a few hours. People in restaurants and at theme parks would say things like “you only make boys, I guess” or “no girls?” How painful. How hurtful.

Alternative: “Are you going to find out if it’s a boy or a girl?” Let them tell you if they already know the gender, let them guide the conversation about what they are hoping for if they don’t already know…especially if their lovely existing children are in earshot. Just be sensitive…these are children and families we are talking about not collect-them-all drive through toys. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Day 4: I'm pretty sure I know how many babies I'm having.

Day 4:
“Are you sure there is just one in there?” Seriously…seriously….seriously!?!?!? YES….we’re sure. And by the way, this is just your “funny” or what you think is socially acceptable way of saying you think I look HUGE. I know it. You know it. Really NEVER say this to a pregnant woman. 

Alternative: I just want to ban this comment with no alternative. If you really need an alternative re-read Day #3.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Day 3: I'm not a balloon, a flower, or a rabbit...

Day 3:
Anything with the word “pop” or other such descriptors: This includes but is not limited to, “you look ready to pop…” “you look large and in charge…” or anything else that describes my baby belly in a way that makes me uncomfortable. If you don’t know me well enough to know what makes me uncomfortable…then err on the side of keeping these kind of comments to yourself. 
Also, anything that mentions “rabbits”. I’m….I’m not a rabbit. I also (personally) don’t like it when people refer to me “blooming”. I’m not a flower…and now I am just trying to get anyway from you as fast as possible.

Alternative: If you must comment on my appearance please keep it to positive statements like “you look great” or “you are carrying well.” Or you could ask how I am feeling…you’ll find most mommy-to-bes fall into one of two camps. The short and sweet answers of “I’m well” or “tired” or one I use on occasion “pregnant”. Or you can sit for 20 minutes and listen to every little bit of how she feels from her swelling feet to her persistent headaches. At least the ball is in her court. J

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Day 2: Due Date Detectives

Day 2:
Forcing me to tell you my exact due date:  It is called an estimated due date for a reason my friends. It is an estimate. In most practices anytime two weeks before or after “the date” is considered healthy and normal. One of our midwives told me when I was pregnant with Noah she wished we called it a due week instead of a due date. I agree. 
So, when you ask me when I am due and I respond “July”, or “early December”, or “sometime this Fall”…I am actually not inviting the follow up question, “No, what is the actual date?” I have my reasons for being vague…respect them. If your birthday or someone in your family's birthday is that month or around that time go ahead and share that...but many women like to relieve the pressure of the big don't add to it by harping on a specific date. 

Alternative: “When are you due”? And be content with whatever answer she gives you. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Things You Should Never Say To A Pregnant Woman (and suggestions for alternatives): A 10 Day Series

It seems we as a culture stink at speaking to pregnant women. Being my second time around the block I am just so tired of comments (especially in public and especially from strangers) that really try my patience and my soul’s contentment. I want to make clear that it is worth enduring these conversations for 6 months…but we could make life a little easier on all pregnant ladies by not having to make them hear these things….and worse, force them to smile and respond to them. :)

I appreciate that you notice I am pregnant and want to make small chat with me but maybe we can switch some of our most common remarks to some I will suggest in this series. 

Let me start off (and please really hear me) by saying that being pregnant is a blessing. I try not to forget this throughout the time I am expecting. When people ask me how I am (especially in public and especially strangers) I try to always respond, “I am well.” Because I am well…no matter what aches or pains I may be having. I am in God’s hands, my baby is in God’s hands, I am well. The Bible clearly teaches that children are a blessing from God. So, I really truly do my best not to complain about pregnancy. Plus, the added awareness that many people struggle to get and remain pregnant breaks my heart and reminds me to stay thankful. 

With all that introductory and disclaimer information done...let's get down to business. Some of these are silly, some funny, some more serious...they are all actual things that have been said to me or people I know. I don't know why our culture insists on saying really stupid things to expectant mothers but I do know that most women want to hide the last 4 weeks of their pregnancy and mostly it's to avoid well-intentioned people. So, again, I'm not saying don't talk to pregnant women...I'm simply asking that you think before you speak. Ok, let's begin with an easy one...

Day One: 
“Don’t you know what causes that?” Yes. We do. Thank you so much for making it abundantly clear that you either think we are having a baby too quickly or are having too many for your liking. Or maybe you just don't know what else to say? Men are the worst offenders of this one. This is neither clever nor original. Let’s drop it from our lexicon. 
Alternative: “Congratulations”

An added disclaimer: I wrote this while pregnant but never published it. It seemed a bit self serving at the time. Now that I am no longer expecting I feel better about sharing for, I think, the general good of pregnant women everywhere. :)